It’s lunchtime at the Greek Peak Restaurant in Seaside Heights, but the eatery is empty.
“I typically had six people waiting for pick-up. I had a full dining room,” said Greek Peak owner Fotene Digirolamo.
This season business is down about 40 percent.
“Every day I’m praying that I’ll be here again tomorrow. I’m living day by day. That’s how difficult business has been,” Digirolamo said.
That’s become the new reality for many shore eateries this summer. New Jersey Restaurant Association’s Marilou Halvorson says business is down anywhere from 20 percent to 60 percent. During the summer months, shore restaurants typically do better then those in North Jersey, but not this year.
“This year we’re seeing the opposite. Many of restaurants, I was talking to one in particular that’s up in Chatham saying this is certainly the busiest June/July that they have seen probably ever,” Halverson said. “So I think we’re seeing a shift now where unfortunately our shore businesses are not doing the type of volume they normally do.”
Industry leaders blame the weather and insist vacationers think shore businesses aren’t open since Sandy ravaged the coast. At Shore’s Steakhouse at JR’s Ocean Grill in Seaside Heights, co-owner Jack Stewart thinks other factors are at play.
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